Community Service

The South African Society of Physiotherapy, together with the Department of Health, has been working towards providing Community service, in particular, Physiotherapy services, to all people of South Africa. We believe that all South Africans should be allowed access to basic, affordable healthcare, irrespective of the area that they reside in. Due to this, Community Service has become a reality for Physiotherapy Graduates with effect 01 January 2003.In recognizing the above facts, the society also believes that a support structure is necessary for our Graduates, to assist them with any queries or problems that they might encounter during their term of Community Service. A comprehensive list of Physiotherapists, who are members of the Society, will be available for graduates. These Physiotherapists will serve as mentors/Supervisors during the Graduates term in Community service. The system is being called the ‘Buddy System’. Telephonic support is recommended, but in some cases, we have liaised with our members to do visits, especially in very remote rural areas. The list of Physiotherapists is available from the Provincial offices of the SA Society of Physiotherapy and can be obtained by contacting them directly. Please look under provincial branches to find all their contact details. The contact number for the SA Society of Physiotherapy is also available and we would welcome your feedback, suggestions/recommendations on you require and will receive, etc. We would like to wish you the very best in Community Service and to advise you that you are providing an ESSENTIAL service to the Community.

Relevant Documentation:
  • Minimum Requirements For Equipment And Physical Facilities For Physiotherapy Services At All Levels Of Care
  • Key Responsibilities
  • Managerial Guide Lines
What does a community Service Graduate need to do, to be on the Buddy Program?

Contact the SA Society of Physiotherapy Head Office on (011) 615 3170 or e-mail [email protected] and provide the Society with your name, contact telephone number, Society membership number and place of appointment (hospital/clinic), so that we can allocate a buddy to you.

How does a Buddy support me during my Community Service Year?

We envisage the support to be mainly telephonic, should distance be a problem, however, it could well be face-to-face contact if distance is not a problem. It is difficult to determine how often the contact would be and that we believe is purely dependant on the competencies displayed by the graduate, the level of support within the area of placement and the amount of contact required by the graduate. We would like the graduate to discuss this with her Buddy to suit their individual requirements.

What terms and conditions of employment do I need to be aware of as a Community Service Healthcare provider?

Firstly, as an employee of the Dept. of Health, you are subject to the terms and conditions of employment of the Public Service as well as the Dept.of Health.
You must be aware of the fact that Provinces function independently of each other and that no two provinces are obliged to have the same terms and conditions of employment e.g. Some will provide accommodation, other not. Some will provide transport, others not.
As s public servant, you have 22 (twenty-two) annual leave and 12 (twelve) days sick leave per annum (normally 36 over 3 years), as per BCEA (Basic conditions of employment Act).
You are not permitted to undertake any post-graduate studies during your term of community service. The department has stressed that no leave will be provided for studying post-graduate courses. The HPCSA (Health Professions Council of SA) has also stipulated that at present, a Community Service graduate is excluded to get CPD points in their community year.